Top ranked Warriors shut down Hayfield 40-0, stay undefeated
By Dugan Thomas
Caledonia's Adam Buttell stiff-arms a defender out of the way for a big gain in the second quarter Friday night.
CALEDONIA, MN - 10/11/2013
The #1 ranked team in Minnesota Class AA backed up their ranking Friday night on a very windy evening in Caledonia with an impressive 40-0 win over the Hayfield Vikings. It was their 33rd consecutive win as they moved to a perfect (7-0) on the season, clinching at least a share of the Southern Football Alliance Blue-Division title.
It all started on the first drive for the Warriors as Ryan Pitts took over from where he left off last week with another series of great runs to get Caledonia into scoring position. A fourth-down play inside the 10-yard line was dialed up and executed perfectly, with a quick-slant from quarterback Mason DeMorett to Sam Schulte for a 6-yard touchdown to give the Warriors a quick 7-0 lead.
Caledonia's defense continued it's stellar play this year forcing the Vikings to punt on their very first possession. Pitts continued to dominate as the Warriors took over, racking up yards and moving the offense into scoring position again. This time DeMorett plunged in from the 1-yard line on a quarterback sneak to put Caledonia up 13-0. The Mason Ashbacher extra-point kick sailed wide of the mark this time, as a pretty stiff wind was blowing across the field.
Hayfield went three-and-out on their next possession and punted it right back to Caledonia, with the Warriors taking over at the 50-yard line, with just a few seconds left in the opening quarter. Ryan Pitts finished the quarter with 123-yards rushing, which catapulted him over the 1,000 yard mark for the season.
The Warriors offense was driving on the Vikings again, but on a third-down pass play Mason DeMorett let one get away from him, and Hayfield intercepted it on their own 25-yard line.
It didn't hurt one bit though, as the Warriors defense forced another punt and Caledonia took over with great field position again.
Ryan Pitts is getting into the habit of making defenders look foolish, as he took a right handoff and bounced it outside. He made a fake to the left but cut back to the right, hit the sideline and easily had the speed to take it the distance for a 34-yard touchdown run to make it 19-0 Warriors.
Hayfield had to start taking chances on Caledonia's defense as they went for it on a big fourth-down play on the Warriors 46-yard line. Caledonia would have none of it, and the Warriors took over with 3:25 left to go in the second-quarter.
Caledonia then started a hurry-up offense with DeMorett calling the plays at the line of scrimmage. Adam Buttell took a pass and continued his bulldog ways, as he ran over a defender with a stiff-arm along the sidelines and moved them into scoring position.
Pitts got the call again and he delivered. Ryan took a right handoff to the outside and busted it into the clear. He demolished a defender at the 5-yard line, and waltzed into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown run to give Caledonia a commanding 26-0 lead.
Hayfield tried to be aggressive on the next possession with only :53 seconds left before the half, and it backfired on them. Adam Buttell came up with another pretty tipped-pass interception caught down by his feet, and the Warriors still had time for another shot.
DeMorett found Alex Goetzinger across the middle for a big first down, and a couple plays later he found Buttell again, this time taking it right to the doorstep at the 2-yard line. Pitts capped it off with a short touchdown run, and before you knew it, the game was out of hand at 33-0.
The second half gave Caledonia a chance to bring in Jacob Cuda at running back, and he was impressive. On their first drive the offensive line kept pounding away and Cuda did all the damage. Jacob found room to the outside on a right handoff and took it to the sideline, busting it all the way down to Hayfield's 5-yard line. He took it in from 4-yards out a play later, and the Ashbacher extra-point kick made it 40-0 Warriors.
The 4th quarter brought a running clock with Caledonia's big lead, and it moved by quickly. The Warriors brought in their second and third-team players and they exchanged multiple possessions with the Vikings.
Hayfield did have one last shot to put points on the board, but the Warriors thwarted that effort on their own 13-yard line with a big 4th down stop, and it preserved the shutout. A very impressive win by the Warriors, and much needed momentum going into the final stretch of the season.
The final game of the regular season schedule comes quickly this week with the MEA weekend coming up. The game will be Wednesday night October 16, in Spring Valley against Kingsland High School at 7:00 PM. The Warriors could clinch the Southern Football Alliance Blue-Division championship, and go into the playoffs undefeated with a win.
Warriors offensive stars of the game: I've said it before, but this group of skilled position players is the best I've ever seen at Caledonia. Ryan Pitts finished with 15 carries for 181 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half. Jacob Cuda had 8 for 54 yards and a touchdown. Mason DeMorett was 10 of 14 passing for 135 yards with a touchdown to Sam Schulte, and a 1-yard rushing TD. Adam Buttell had 5 receptions for 69 yards, and Alex Goetzinger had 2 for 29.
Warriors defensive stars of the game: The front four were really impressive in this game, with West Spier, Jacob Nielsen, Shane Sheehan, and Case McCormick really getting after it. Tons of pressure up the middle and on the edge, only allowing the Vikings to complete four passes. Adam Buttell had another interception, and this was the fifth straight game the Warriors came away with at least one INT this year. The passing defense has just been outstanding, and this is the fourth straight game the Warriors held their opponent to less than 120 yards of total offense. This is what Caledonia football is known for, and Brent Schroeder is getting these guys primed at the perfect time of the season.
Southern Football Alliance - Blue
Caledonia 13 20 7 0 - 40
Hayfield 0 0 0 0 - 0
First quarter: C-Sam Schulte 6 pass from Mason DeMorett (Mason Ashbacher kick). C-DeMorett 1 run (kick failed).
Second quarter: C-Ryan Pitts 34 run (kick failed). C-Pitts 7 run (Tanner Gran kick). C-Pitts 2 run (Ashbacher kick).
Third quarter: C-Jacob Cuda 4 run (Ashbacher kick).
Rushing: C-Pitts 15-181, Cuda 8-54; H-Cole Kruger 7-35.
Passing: C-DeMorett 10-14-1-135; H-Cameron Rutledge 3-10-1-18, Kruger 1-2-0-12.
Receiving: C-Adam Buttell 5-69, Alex Goetzinger 2-29; H-Mat Walters 2-10, Merrick Ducharme 1-13.
Total yards: C: 265-135-400; H: 87-30-117.
Fumbles-lost: C: 1-1; H: 0-0.